God’s Handiwork

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “testimony.” We would love to have you join us.

Hand in hand, a legacy of love. Both sets of grandparents lived such a testimony of love. They both were married for 50 and 60 plus years, respectively. They are the example I strive for in the relationship I dream of. They lived out those words “for better or worse.”

Grandpa has always been such a hardworking man. It’s hard to believe that he’s been gone eight months already. His values are carried over in his children. As they farm the land, they testify and give testimony to those values their mom and dad installed in them.

My momma also is someone who I respect too. She lives her life as such a beautiful woman of faith; a testimony to who and whose she is. She carries God’s grace with her wherever she goes.

These souls are testimony to who God created them to be.

Celebrating Life

Today is my 41st Birthday! I have always loved celebrating my birthday .The joy of spending time with friends and family. My favorite German Chocolate cake. Feeling so incredibly loved and appreciated.

There are many who are older than I am who don’t get as excited as I do. They would much rather skip over their birthdays. I totally understand that. But after the many losses I felt from October 2017 to December 2018, I have a much deeper appreciation for life. So many of these beloved souls should still be with us. They died way too young.

My friend Ben won’t get to watch his daughter grow up. My friend Rachel won’t get to walk down the aisle with the love of her life. Stephanie won’t get to watch her beautiful children grow up. And as I reflect on these beloved souls, I find myself clinging to the promise of the resurrection while also clinging to the beauty of each new day.

Resurrection does come. New relationships are formed. New life is found. I cannot help but think of one of my favorite quotes from Clarence W. Hall “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there.”

So my friends, I will continue to unashamedly celebrate my birthday. I will cling to the beauty of today as I sit in its beauty. And I will remember those who left this earth way too soon and are now celebrating their birthdays in heaven. I will eat an extra piece of cake just for them. I will blow out those candles praying for their families. And I will celebrate what it means to be a beloved child of God here at the earthly banquet and one day at the heavenly banquet.

Back

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “back.” We would love to have you join us.

New notebooks, backpacks, glue, folders, Crayons everywhere. It must be the end of summer and back to school time. My sister: a teacher is back in the classroom already. Actually today they’ve already put in two weeks. Some schools I realize don’t start until after Labor Day but not here.

This time of year always make me nostalgic for all those awesome summer trips and summer adventures I took. Arizona, Colorado, Texas, ND State Fair and all those Thursday nights at Summer Nights on Main. I’m ready for Fall as I love all the seasons. But I must admit I wish the seasons didn’t go so fast. I want to go back and dwell in these adventures a little longer.

The air is cooler now which means cozy headed sweatshirts. Pumpkin spice is back at Starbucks. August only has a few days left. And then September (and my birthday) are back for yet another year. Where does the time go?

A Slower Pace

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “pace.” We would love to have you join us.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons because life at work slows down a little and I get to travel. Arizona for a special retreat, Colorado for my fave continuing Ed classes, ND state fair fun and concerts, Texas for our sisters trip, Minnesota for a work trip. Lots of traveling which means pacing oneself.

Rest stops along the way. Self care. Laughter and fun. Ice cream and coffee. Music that restores the soul. Then when I get home, it’s time to get back in the groove. A new pace must be set as Confirmation and Sunday School start back up.

In these days, I’m savoring the pace of these slow days. I love watching my kitties chase each other through the house. I love the pace they set when we all are curled up on the couch together. At the moment, Nevy is sitting on my lap as I type. Luna is laying on her fave quilt on the back of the couch. The pace is slow and restful!

I think I’ll sit her a little longer and savor this pace for a little while longer!

Again?!

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “again.” We would love to have you join us.

Life is full of ups and downs. But it’s also full of life and death. From October 2017 to December 2018, nine deaths. Nine deaths of friends and family. Every time I heard the news I found myself saying, “Not again.”

Grief has a way of coming in so many different ways. It is like a roller coaster ride of emotions. Grief reminds us that we were loved and loved those we lost. I’m so thankful for the gift these individuals were to my life. I miss them everyday.

I don’t want another eighteen months like I’ve had. Too many deaths. Too many lost way too soon. Again I say, “Thank you. Thank you for giving them to me to know and to love.”

The grief is less heavy. But little things remind me of my friends and family. Like Canticle of the Turning reminds me of my friend Ben.

Five Trips

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “five.” We would love to have you join us.

Nashville Tennessee, Rapid City SD/Black Hills, Chicago, NYC and Dallas Texas!

Five sisters trips in the books!

This week we toured Dealy Plaza and the 6th floor museum. We went to the top of Reunion Tower. We toured AT and T Stadium where we did a VIP tour. I think my sister was in heaven. She’s been a Cowboys fan since Aikman and Emmitt. We went to the Dallas Aquarium. And saw so many fun animals. The otter tried to steal my phone!

That evening, my friend John from the Lutheran Academy of the Rockies took us to a Rangers game. We ate before the game at Texas Live and ate at Troy Aikmans bar. The Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 9-7.

*Thursday we slept in and then met up with some friends of mine. They took us out to dinner. We were going to go to Southfork where they filmed Dallas but it got too late. Instead we found the street where the Bushes live. It is heavily gated and you can’t even turn down the street. After that adventure, my friends dropped off us off at Klyde Warren park which is Dallas version of NYC’s Highline park.

Friday we ventured to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. I was really impressed as it’s very interactive and educational. We ate lunch at the museum cafe. Afterwards we went to the Dallas Zoo but only lasted about an hour and a half as it was way too hot. Then we hung out at our hotel pool. They had these really cool loungers that sat in the water. We spent a lot of time on those loungers during the week. I even finished a book.

These trips are always so much fun but go way too fast! Now we are waiting for our flight home, I’m ready to see Luna and Neville as I’ve missed them! But where will sisters trip #6 be?

*Where my five minutes ended. But I couldn’t leave you hanging. Had to finish telling you about this years trip!

The Middle

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “middle.” We would love to have you join us.

The minute I heard the word prompt, I started singing an old Diamond Rio song. “Let’s meet in the middle against that old Georgia pine.” This song takes me back to my high school days belting out this song with my friends. The sounds and smells of the prairie permeating the air.

There are so many great things where the middle is the best. The cream in the middle of the Oreo. The ice cream in the middle of an ice cream sandwich. The fortune in the middle of a fortune cookie (Sometimes not always). The peanut butter and jelly in the middle of the PB and J sandwich. The middle can be a good place to be.

The other day I found myself in the middle of my two beloved kitties Luna and Neville. I love them so much!

Willing

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “willing.” We would love to have you join us.

“My spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak.” I’ve been singing this camp song Light the Fire since I read the word prompt for this week. Isn’t it funny how certain words put ear worms in our ears?

But the word willing is so much more than an ear worm.

Are you willing to try something new… a new food, a new hobby, etc?

Are you willing to speak up for those who are different than you?

Are you willing to stand your ground for what you believe is right?

Are you willing and able to help someone else? In other words, are you willing to be a modern day Good Samaritan in this world?

Are you willing to live out your passions?

What are you willing to try? What are you willing to say? I’d love to hear!

Photo Taking

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “take.” We would love to have you join us.

A few years ago my friend gifted me with a camera. I forgot how much I loved every taking photos. There is something about taking photos and trying to capture a moment in time.

Camera in hand, my friend and I walk around Lily Lake. I see so much of God’s creation. I capture a duck butt as he dives into the lake. We spot a moose off in the distance. I see several ducks sunbathing. The mountains are covered in the splendor of snow. Wild flowers of various shapes and colors are all around. It’s the glory of Colorado.

Hues of reds, oranges and yellows cascade across the sky as the sun sets. The amber waves of grain glisten against the sun. The bright yellow of sunflowers can be seen for miles. It’s the beauty of North Dakota at her best.

What do you like to capture? (And for those who saw my FB post, my photos were sent off to be entered in the ND State Fair!) o

In God’s Hands

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. This week’s word prompt is “world.” We would love to have you join us.

I just got back from one of my favorite continuing education trips. I love it because when I attended it for the first time, I got to explore a new part of the country I have never been too….Colorado! It has become one of my favorite places in the world. There is something so holy about being in the mountains.

Growing up we didn’t do much traveling. We visited grandparents in Nebraska and visited South Dakota. But I don’t remember many other places we vacationed too. As I have gotten older, I have found myself traveling more and more often.

A few years ago, my sister began the tradition of having a sister’s trip. We have been to Nashville, Chicago, The Black Hills of South Dakota and New York City. This year we will be traveling to Dallas TX. I love exploring and spending this time with my sister as we explore new parts of the USA.

There are so many parts of the world I would love to travel too. On my bucket list, I would love to travel to Germany and visit the Lutheran sites of Martin Luther. I would love to experience Jerusalem and walk where Jesus walked. I also would love to travel to Ireland! Where are some places you hope to visit?

The world is full of so much beauty. God’s magnificent hand is all over it. I only need look at the glorious pictures from Colorado that I took while I was there. God’s creation amazing us as we spotted a moose, an elk and even some baby chicks in Lily Lake. I can’t help but sing “God’s got the whole world in God’s hands.”